French Terms Related to Hanukkah and Judaism

Celebrate Hanukkah in French

Mother and daughter lighting Hanukkah menorah
Ariel Skelley/Blend Images/Getty Images

Hanukkah is a Jewish festival of survival and freedom that lasts for eight days. Learn some French vocabulary related to this annual Jewish celebration.

Le Nom du Festival ~ The Name of the Festival

Because Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday with a Hebrew name, it may be spelled several different ways:

  • English spellings: Hanukkah, Hanukah, Hanukka, Chanukah
    French spellings: Hanoucca, Hannouccah, Hanouccah, Hanoukka

Hanukkah is also known as the Festival of Lights (la Fête des Lumières) and the Feast of Dedication (la Fête des dédicaces).

Les Dates de Hanoucca ~ Hanukkah Dates

Hanukkah begins on the 25th of Kislev, the ninth month in the Jewish calendar, and lasts for eight days. It occurs on a different date every year of the Gregorian (solar) calendar - sometime in November or December.

La Nourriture de Hanoucca ~ Hanukkah Food

Food is a big part of the Hanukkah celebration. Most of the traditional foods are fried in oil, in remembrance of the oil that lasted for eight days, while others are made with dairy products (in commemoration of the Jewish heroine Judith [Yehudit]):

cheese   le fromage

doughnut   un beignet

to fry   frire

milk   le lait

oil   huile (feminine)

potato pancake (latke)   une galette aux pommes de terre

sour cream   la crème aigre

More: Food in French

Vegetarian Hanukkah recipes

Le Vocabulaire de Hanoucca ~ Hanukkah Vocabulary

Here are the French translations for some terms related to Hanukkah, as well as Judaism in general:

blessing   une bénédiction

candle   une bougie

December   décembre

door   une porte

Dreidel (spinning top)   la toupie

eight days   huit jours

family   la famille

game   un jeu

gift   un cadeau

Jewish   juif

kosher   casher, kasher

menorah   la Ménorah

miracle   un miracle

November   novembre

pocket money   argent de poche

prayer   une prière

Sabbath   le sabbat

song   une chanson

sunset   le coucher de soleil

temple   le temple

victory   la victoire

window   une fenêtre

To learn more about Hanukkah, please click one of the links below.